Monday, August 12, 2013


Friday was a weird day for me.

I was busy in the morning.  Then had a fun play date with District and my best buddy baby H at the office (Starbucks, natch).  Ran a quick errand.  And came home.

Before walking Sadie, I popped onto Facebook.

And saw a bunch of posts about how sad people were at the shocking loss of a high school friend, Colleen.

Wait...what??  I went to her Facebook page and saw a note that someone left.  She died that morning.  From surgical complications.  Very unexpectedly.

I knew she was going to have surgery as she posted about it.  It seemed like a minor thing.  Or minor in that she noted it was just something she put off and would be fine.  I've since pieced together from other FB pages it was an ENT procedure.  And at some point, something went wrong, and she died in her sleep in the wee hours of the morning.

So I was not close with Colleen.  I've not seen her since high school.  But thanks to Facebook, we were able to keep up with each other from a distance.

But she was one of the most sincerely sweet girls I've ever met.  She just didn't have a judgmental bone in her body.  And I find that to be the most attractive personality trait.  One I don't possess, but aspire to.  She was kind beyond words.  She told people she appreciated them and was so unbelievably upbeat.  Such a really wonderful person.

This has had a pretty profound impact on me.

Not in a crumble to the floor sobbing sort of way {though several tears were shed}.  More looking at this life of a woman who in many ways was like me.  Unmarried and without children.  Which to me feels like a life unfinished.  We are the exact same age as we graduated in the same class.  She went in to take care of something minor.

That could be me.

And I don't want to leave this world with a life unfinished.

Now please don't think I am in any way saying that her life was incomplete.  I am more looking at this situation through a mirror and internalizing all of it.

But no matter what you have or don't have in your life, 35 is too damn young to die.

No one says of a deceased 35 year old, well she lived a good life but it was her time to go.

Hell no.  She was so young.  She was healthy.  She was full if life and love.  She was so loved.  She was such a wonderful display of humanity on a daily basis.

All weekend I have just sort of had a running dialog about how much I hold back in life and how I need to let Colleen's life push me to take bigger chances.  Because you truly never know when you will be taking your last breath or hugging your last loved one or posting for the last time on Facebook.

Oh and Colleen's last post on Facebook was talking about how much goodness and humanity are all around her.  How people in her life were so honest and caring and helpful.  She saw the good in everyone.

Sweet Colleen, you are a beautiful reminder to spend my energy on loving more and laughing as often as possible!


Flo said...

So sad, 35 is way too young to die. (((HUGS)))

Katiellirb said...

Oh my - I am so sorry for the loss of your friend Colleen. With only your reading your description, she sounded like a truely wonderful person. So if anything, I think she would have wanted her passing to be a positive for you. I'm glad that you're using this experience to make some changes, so her life wouldn't have been in vain.


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